Coming out (1989) R2 German Cover


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Coming Out


Hailed as the first–and only–feature film about gay life ever produced in communist East Germany, and winner of the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, Coming Out is the “passionate and moving, honestly told” (Planet Out) story of a young high school teacher named Philipp. As a boy, Philipp was strongly attracted to his best (male) friend, but as an adult, he puts that behind him in order to live within the “norm.” Philipp meets a shy girl who falls hard for him, and soon the couple is sharing an apartment and starting a family. But when Philipp meets a young man in a concert ticket line, he really falls in love and cannot deny his true, passionate desires any longer. “Coming Out captures the push and pull of conflicting desires and repressions as well as any other film we’ve ever seen.” (Bay Windows)

Heiner Carow made Coming Out as a plea for tolerance– not only for gays and lesbians, but for all minorities in the German Democratic Republic. He wanted his film to be about love and honesty. Carow, a gay man himself, wanted to avoid sensationalism and was committed to authenticity; he sought to portray reality as he knew it. Hence many of the film’s supporting characters are actual members of the (mostly male) underground gay scene of East Berlin essentially playing themselves. The gay locales were real hangouts and clubs, and much of the background action is genuine, not staged. “The descriptions of East Berlin’s gay scene are revelations in themselves.” (Variety) A related bonus feature on the DVD is The Best of Queer Berlin, a PC-friendly interactive city guide with special links and printable maps.

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